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RAI upgrades its storage systems, and helps save the planet

The broadcaster is set to reduce its energy consumption by 60 per cent following a move to Avid's Nexis storage system

Italian broadcaster RAI has been working with Avid for over a decade, first employing the company’s Interplay production software for its TG2 news programme when it debuted in 2012.

When RAI decided to upgrade the newsrooms for both TG1 and TG2 in 2014, it again turned to Avid introducing its news teams to Avid’s MediaCentral platform.

So when RAI embarked on another project to upgrade its production workflows, Avid once again had the technology it needed. As well as Avid’s MediaCentral platform, some 500 journalists across RAI’s five national newsrooms will be using Avid’s Media Composer video editing software and as well as Avid’s Nexis storage systems.

“We decided to renew our agreement with Avid in order to replace our old storage capabilities but also migrate our newsroom systems from the old Interplay/MediaCentral to the new MediaCentral Cloud UX platform, which allows us to operate in a totally virtual environment,” Fabio Digiglio, project manager, news and production systems at RAI tells TVBEurope.

“One of the goals we’re most proud of is the sustainability of the project,” he adds. “We’re moving from more than 200 servers towards less than 30 virtualisation hosts. Upon completion of the project, we estimate a 60 per cent reduction of energy consumption.”

RAI’s decision to move its storage to Nexis and the Media Composer and MediaCentral upgrades offers the broadcaster a full range of new capabilities, says Raul Alba from Avid.

“Avid Nexis is helping them reduce the physical consumption footprint on the cooling cost,” he explains. “On the feature side, it’s a software defined storage so it’s giving a lot of flexibility in terms of how they manage what they put into storage, and the level of protection they can they want to give to media. It also gives you a lot of collaboration tools, like access to newsroom management to editing the script.

“The change of storage generation really increased efficiency in terms of ease of maintenance, rack space occupation in our data centres and power consumption,” adds Digiglio. “The lower cost per TB and the better ratio capacity/physical size allowed us to migrate all media content to online Nexis rather than nearline (we’re talking of more than 40.000 hours XDCAM HD).”

The move to Nexis has taken place over the past 12 months, with the team completing the data migration from their old nearline storage just a few weeks ago.

The software upgrade with MediaCentral and Media Composer is expected to be completed in 2023.